So I have surprised myself, and apparently a number of others by not being at Greenbelt this weekend ( thanks to all who have messaged me). My decision began on Wednesday when I had to acknowledge that I had a cold and felt grim, but I still wavered. Yesterday I slept a lot, and I decided not to go, today however I am much better and have even done some gardening, but the decision not to go stands, and it is not because of a cold, it is more about applying a bit of self knowledge in the interest of self care.
In the spring I half filled in an application form to volunteer and then forgot about it, in early July a reminder arrived, I filled in the form and sent it off. An email arrived telling me my application had been accepted and I prepared to go. What I didn’t do was ask myself if this is what I really wanted to do. I have lots of friends who go to Greenbelt, those going begin posting almost as soon as the last festival has finished, the photos are enticing, and the exhortations to come, have fun, engage, be there begin. I have been, and I have enjoyed it, but I also have to reflect that I find it exhausting, not just physically from camping etc, but also emotionally and spiritually, because I am an extreme introvert.
I am an extreme introvert, what on earth makes me think that spending a weekend with thousands of other people, even in good weather, would be a good idea. I would love to catch up with friends, but not en-masse, and of course I have chances throughout the year to do just that. If I am honest I would rather sit in my garden and read the speakers books than squeeze into a marquee to hear them speak ( no offense speakers).
So what made me apply? I am also an Enneagram type 9, I like to please and accommodate others so much so that at times I lose myself, if someone asks me if I’d like to go to Greenbelt I am likely to say yes, and to be honest I would mean it, I would like to go, but I haven’t considered what it might cost me, not that paying the cost is sometimes a part of our Christian journey, but sometimes it is not demanded of us, and sometimes it is okay to voice your own desires and needs, in fact sometimes it is essential.
A friend wrote today about not being able to decide what she would like to eat from a restaurant menu, I completely related to that, I would choose healthy or economical over what I really wanted unable to voice my own desires because too often I lose touch with them. I suspect that, that is why I needed to travel through a divorce and a deep soul searching journey to admit to myself that the boy meets girl romance was not for me, give me girl meets girl please… but I was unable to voice that, if I even recognised my voice!
So this week I have owned my introvert, enneagram 9, gay self, I have spoken my truth, I have decided to stay at home for me, to tend my garden, to tend my soul, to read some books, to take some time, and to connect one to one with some other friends who have not gone to Greenbelt….
For those who are confused, I can be extroverted when I need to be and when I want to be but then I need time to recover, sometimes it is necessary as part of what I do, sometimes it is what I choose. This weekend I have dared to choose for me!
To those who have, I will catch up with you through the year, but not this weekend. I do love and value you, but this weekend I have chosen to also love and value the me who is fearfully and wonderfully made, somewhere in the person of God there lies a place for deep introverts, because somewhere God is also a deep introvert, could that be why Jesus headed for wild places to pray?